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Father and daughter killed in Fort Collins crash involving suspicious vehicle that fled police

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Posted at 10:19 AM, Nov 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-24 20:04:41-05

FORT COLLINS, Colo. – An Iowa man and his daughter, a resident of Fort Collins, were identified as the two people killed in a crash near the intersection of Harmony Road and Boardwalk Drive that happened Thursday morning after a suspicious vehicle fled from police, the Larimer County coroner confirmed Saturday.

John Nees, 55, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa and Nicole Nees, 38, of Fort Collins, were killed on impact following the crash, according to the Larimer County Coroner.

Fort Collins police spokesperson Brandon Barnes said in a video posted to the department’s Twitter account that the crash involved a suspicious vehicle officers had been called to check out nearby not long beforehand.

Barnes said officers were called about the suspicious vehicle that was near the intersection of Arctic Fox Drive and Caribou Drive Thursday morning -- near English Ranch Park. But when the officers arrived, the vehicle fled the scene. Barnes said officers did not pursue it.

Shortly afterward, around 10:30 a.m., the vehicle was involved in the crash that killed the Nees. Barnes said the driver of the suspect vehicle was taken into police custody.

Photos from the scene show a car and a pickup truck were involved in the crash and that another flatbed pickup had run into a nearby building.

Dallas Schleining told Denver7 it was hit flatbed truck that was the "suspicious vehicle" involved in the crash and said it was stolen from his cattle feed lot near Ault sometime Wednesday night or early Thursday morning.

That information was confirmed by investigators, who said Friday the truck was stolen from Weld County. 

"My wife actually parked it there last night about 4 o'clock and I was there at 5:30 this morning and I don't think it happened after that, so sometime between those hours it must've gone missing," Schleining said.

He said he received a call from police around noon Thursday asking him if his truck was missing.

"I wasn't really sure what to expect. the officer told me the pickup was probably totaled but I expected it to look worse than it did," Schleining said.

"But seeing the other vehicles there, [they were] obviously worse than I anticipated."

He said he still wasn't sure who stole his truck and crashed it.

"I'm not really sure. I'm curious about who stole the vehicle ... It was obviously sitting there. We're a pretty good-sized operation and just to have something like that going missing puts a lot of questions in my mind, for sure," he said.

On Friday, police confirmed the stolen truck was the same one involved in a smash-and-grab gun robbery that happened at a Fort Collins pawn shop around 3:30 a.m., after firearms inside the truck matched the ones stolen during the burglary.